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Lunabean's Starfox Adventures Review

Starfox Adventures
Buy Starfox Adventures
Strategy Guide: LB Strategy Guide and Walkthrough
Lunabean Rating: 8.8
Platforms: GameCube
Release Date: 09.23.02
ESRB Rating: T - Teen
Official Site: Starfox Adventures
Purchase Game from Amazon.com: Buy it now!
Stuck?: Lunabean's Forums
Online Play: No

Review

The release of "Starfox Adventures" marks the last collaboration between Nintendo and Rare (excluding, of course, GBA games). The sale of Nintendo's stock shares to Microsoft would be a lot less painful had this game have sucked. Unfortunately, "Starfox Adventures" is quite impressive. Nintendo and Rare sure did make a good team. Ah well, let's just focus on the positive, the here and now.


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You play through 99% of the game as Fox McCloud, star of the flying/shooting "Starfox" series. However, this time, Fox's ship has been grounded (for the vast majority of the game) and, for the first time, he is the star of his very own Action/RPG game. He shares the stage with a game called "Dinosaur Planet", originally intended for release on the N64, however, the games merged into the one huge entity that is "Starfox Adventures". Although part of this game was intended for the N64, "Starfox Adventures" has "next-generation console" written all over it.

It should be mentioned that this game does start out on the slow side. The first couple scenes playing as Krystal (the foxy lady who you are ultimately trying to save) are enjoyable, but once you're in control of Fox for the first time, you feel like you're on a pointless scavenger hunt, and you have no idea why you're finding these items, nor why you're on Dinosaur Planet in the first place. However, after a couple of hours of gameplay, your mission is revealed, and you have a purpose again. It seems the evil General Scales has somehow blown off chunks of Dinosaur Planet. It is your goal to go to these chunks of planet (thank goodness Fox has some space flying skills) to collect their SpellStones (one per chunk of planet), so you can unite the planet once again. You are also asked to collect six Krazoa Spirits along the way. You will need to sharpen your problem solving skills to get through this game without a walkthrough. You do have a loveable sidekick, Tricky (a baby dinosaur), who helps you solve problems with his digging, flame breathing, heeling and staying skills.

Battling doesn't play as strong of a role as it could in this game. Enemies are easily defeated by swinging your staff with "A", and you can only fight one at a time. The interesting enemies to beat are the ones that, once again, make use of your problem solving skills. You will rarely be killed by an enemy in "Starfox Adventures". You are more likely to be shocked by an evil tile puzzle, fall off a high structure, or just die because you're not watching your life meter.

The graphics in this game are superb. Crisp, clean and bright with a color scheme reminiscent of "Jet Force Gemini", with a lot of bright blues and greens. Playing the game on a flat screen TV surely is a treat. The first time I entered a snow scene, it was so beautiful, I could have cried. Running through the falling snow, the flakes fall at you, and, as they approach your moving camera, they get larger and larger so you can see the detail of every flake. Gorgeous. Although the graphics, themselves, are excellent in the game, I didn't ever come to like the look of Fox, himself. Yes, his textures were amazing (the movement of his fur needs to be applauded), but he never looked "likeable". Maybe it's that he's a fox, and foxes are, by nature, sly looking, but he never had a look to him that made me say, "Here's a hero". Also, the fact that he's doing everything for money rather than to save these poor dinosaurs makes him less likeable than he could have been. Link could never be a jerk. Fox gives you the feeling he has better things to do and you're just wasting his time. Luckily, you don't see Fox in this light too often, so it's easily looked over.

The camera is comfortable. The "L" button moves the camera directly behind Fox. The "Z" button enables the first-person view, the "C-stick" lets you zoom in this mode. I did feel a few times like I needed to look higher up in first person mode, and that I was restricted from doing so, but it happened few enough times that it wasn't a problem.

The sound and music in this game are excellent, and I'm someone who rarely pays attention to music. The voice of Krystal was amazing. It could almost put you in a trance with it's dreamlike and mystic qualities. The music that played while your were in Dinosaur Planet did a good job of reminding you it was your home base with it's "Survivor-esque" qualities. Great sound.


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The game does have some glitches. The "save" feature in this game is excellent. You can save at any time, but, if you die, you usually start out very near where you died instead of your last save. However, I have been reading about some save glitches upon Fox's return to the Walled City. Apparently, if you don't save before going, and you die while you're there, you have a lot of steps to retrace. Point being, save often, and you won't have to worry about it. Another glitch that is commonly commented on is the fact that sometimes Fox can walk through Tricky, or the other way around. This usually happens, however, in tight spots, where, if that didn't happen, the characters would be stuck. So, I applaud that glitch, and I wish more games would include such a glitch.

Overall, "Starfox Adventures" is an great game that will provide you with hours of great gameplay (I think it's the longest GCN game to date, with about 25 hours of gameplay). There are some reviewers out there saying the game isn't that impressive. These are the people that expect magic every time they plug in a highly anticipated game. This game is fun. It won't knock your socks off, but you'll have a wonderful time playing it.

-Allison


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